Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ottawa Sails Into Port Dispute

(The Montreal Gazette)

Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt has referred the Port of Montreal dispute to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board.

The action was taken yesterday in response to concerns raised about the supply of goods to Newfoundland and Labrador, Raitt's office said in a statement.

"We must ensure that the health and safety of the public are not jeopardized," Raitt said in the statement.

About half of the goods destined for Newfoundland go through Montreal's port, that province said Monday, the first day of the longshoremen's lockout in Montreal.

The longshoremen's union and the association representing shipping lines are to meet with CIRB officials Saturday morning in Montreal.

"We understand that (the federal government) wants us to unload ships that carry medications and goods related to health," said Daniel Tremblay, president of CUPE Local 375, the Longshoremen's Union.

This morning,(Thursday), Tremblay, other union officials and representatives of the Maritime Employers Association are to meet with federal mediators in a session tentatively set before the lockout began.
Read more here.